Friday, February 27, 2015

Whistle While You Work - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

A Kind of Loss

Used together: seasons, books, a piece of music.

The keys, teacups, bread basket, sheet and a bed.

A hope chest of words, of gestures, brought back, used,
used up.

A household order maintained. Said. Done.
And always a head was there.
I've fallen in love with winter, with a Viennese septet, with summer.
With Village maps, a mountain nest, a beach and a
bed.

Kept a calender cult, declared promises irrevocable,
bowed before something, was pious to a nothing
(-to a folded newspaper, cold ashes, the scribbled piece of paper) ,
fearless in religion, for our bed was the church.



From my lake view arose my inexhaustible painting.

From my balcony I greeted entire peoples, my neighbors.

By the chimney fire, in safety, my hair took on its deepest hue.

The ringing at the door was the alarm for my joy.



It's not you I've lost,

but the world.

Ingeborg Bachmann


Monday, February 23, 2015

I'm Never Coming Home Bag


I'm Never Coming Home Bag, 2015 
Wood, plywood, acrylic, paper
110 x 14 x 43 cm

What Little Remains of Life


Life is a non-equilibrium process involving a series of biochemical reactions that use external energy to build the cellular structure and the complexity of the organism. Humans strive for the continuation of their existence. This can be based on an illusory afterlife according to religion or on practical efforts through technology. But the temporality of individual lives is inevitable. Death in the universe, governed by the law of entropy, is unavoidable. Thus, as all traces of human existence fade away, what is most important in life is what one thinks and does at the present moment, when one is fully aware of life. Capturing each moment and filling it with some meaning is the only consolation in life. 

By Ben G.Yacobi

Journal of Philosophy of Life Vol.4, No.1 (January 2014):38-47 
http://www.philosophyoflife.org/jpl201403.pdf

Pair Production

Using Efstathiou’s wall piece Cloud Chamber as a starting point, this two-person exhibition and short residency at New Court Gallery has been informed by aesthetic qualities extracted by a scattered Physics glossary and the co-habitation of two differentiated art practices. Under the conditions of the ‘isolated’ environment of the empty exhibition-studio space reminiscent of a cloud chamber as ‘a sealed environment where charged particles may leave ionized tracks distinctive in various shapes indicating different types of collisions’, Maria Efstathiou and Margarita Myrogianni have merged their artistic practices by coming up with mixed-media explorations through aesthetic interpretations inspired by such scientific terminology. Annihilation, energized particles, matter and anti-matter, growth formation, suspension of phenomena, have been phrases used during the artists’ stay whilst working on new and existing work brought in from their Athens studios. The outcome of this endeavor has involved exposing their methodologies by focusing on the preparatory stages and seeing the process as the end product via a metaphorical take on the term pair production as ‘a direct conversion of radiant energy to matter’. Text by Maria Georgoula

New Court Gallery, Repton, Derbyshire, Feb.2015

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Gesichtkreis



Pluto (in it’s entirety)



Help me get an asteroid for the Summer..
The Planet eh...now Asteroid Pluto (in it’s entirety)
Availability: In stock
$250,000.00

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

More Precious than Gold


Limited to just 12 copies, numbered 1958–1969, the Lunar Rock Edition of Norman Mailer’s MoonFire is designed by Marc Newson. His concept was inspired by the Apollo 11 LEM (Lunar Excursion Module). Each book is contained in a case made from a single piece of aluminum—its surface an actual 3-D topography of the Moon—and comes with a unique piece of lunar rock.

Meteorites from the Moon are exceptionally rare. There are fewer than 70 lunar meteorites known with a total combined weight of approximately 55 kilograms, making them millions of times rarer than gem grade diamonds. However, most lunar meteorites reside in museum collections and research institutions, leaving only 15 kilograms or so available to individual collectors worldwide. Since acquiring an Apollo moon rock is virtually impossible, the only realistic way to own a piece of the moon is by acquiring a lunar meteorite.

Werner Herzog Inspirationals




Positive quotes  that lift the spirit ..  ;)

http://herzoginspirationals.tumblr.com

Monday, February 16, 2015

Life Imitating Nature — Wenchuan



At Wolong National Nature Reserve, Chinese scientists face
the challenge of caring for a population of 150 giant pandas
 and reintroducing them into the wild to support this highly
 endangered species. The adult pandas have lost the skills
 needed to survive independently of humans, so the reserve
 staff focus their efforts on the newborn cubs.
In order to teach the cubs real panda ways, any contact with
 their domesticated parents or humans has to be avoided.
 The scientists came up with a cunning plan: by dressing up
 as pandas, and mimicking natural panda behaviour,
they hope to teach the cubs by example.
Despite their best efforts, only two giant pandas have been
 successfully reintroduced to their natural habitat in the
past 30 years.
by Anne Miltenburg

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Θάνος Μurray Βελλούδιος / Χαμένος κρίκος ή μεταιχμιακός σπινθηριστής?


Στο κέντρο Τέχνης και Πολιτισμού Beton7 από τις 13/01/2015 μέχρι τις 07/02/2015 θα πραγματοποιηθούν τεκμηριώσεις, συμπλεύσεις και συμπλέξεις αναφορικά με το έργο του  Θ. Μ – Β, θα ανακληθούν αναμνήσεις, θα υπάρξουν αναπολήσεις, θα γίνουν αναφορές, σταθμίσεις  και αποτιμήσεις και θα εντοπιστούν οι προοπτικές που ανοίγονται. Στο πλαίσιο του αφιερώματος θα διοργανωθούν εκθέσεις, παρουσιάσεις τεκμηρίων, συζητήσεις, διαλέξεις, διάλογοι, προβολές ταινιών και φωτογραφιών, ηχητικές και άλλες εγκαταστάσεις, καθώς επίσης και επιτελέσεις (perfomances) σε επιμέλεια Δημοσθένη Αγραφιώτη.





Πρόγραμμα δράσεων:

13.01 | 20.00 Εγκαίνια και επιτελέσεις (performances) από τους: Joulia Strauss, Michele Valley, Δημοσθένης Αγραφιώτης.
15.01 | 18.45 Αντώνης Βολανάκης, Επιτέλεση
16.01 | 18.45 Βασίλης Νούλας, Κώστας Τζημούλης.Επιτελεστική διάλεξη
21.01 | 18.45 Διαμαντής Καράβολας .”Ο Θ.Βελλούδιος και τα συγκείμενα (context) του 1920-30”.Διάλεξη.
22.01 |18.45 Πάνος Χαραλάμπους {Joseph Βeuys –Βελλούδιος} και Πάνος Μποσνάκης {Marcel Duchamp-Βελλούδιος}.Ομιλίες.
24.01 | 16.00 – 20.30 Ανοιχτή συζήτηση με θέμα” Έργα και βίος του Θ. Murray-Βελλούδιου» . Συμμετέχουν οι: Ναταλία Μελά, Κώστας Κλεφτόγιαννης, Αντώνης Νταγαδάκης, Αναστάσης Καμπέρογλου, Αλέξης Σαββάκης, Λεωνίδας Εμπειρίκος, Ευθύμης Δημητρίου, Κατερίνα Κουτσίνα,Γιώργος Πανουσόπουλος, Λάκης Παπαστάθης, Τώνης Λυκουρέσης, Διονύσης Φωτόπουλοςκ.ά και όσοι άλλοι γνώρισαν το Θ. Βελλούδιο από κοντά. [Θα γίνει βιντεοσκόπηση για τη δημιουργία αρχείου, αναμνήσεων και μαρτυριών].
27.01 | 18.45 Ελισάβετ Αρσενίου, «Ο Θ.Βελλούδιος και η Ελληνική πρωτοπορία». Διάλεξη-συζήτηση
30.01 | 18.45 Φαίδων Χατζηαντωνίου. Φαντασιομετρική παρουσίαση μουσικών και άλλων για την αεροπορία-«Μ.Χατζηδάκις,Θ.Βελλούδιος.Μια μουσική διένεξη».
03.02 18.45 Ο Λεωνίδας Εμπειρίκος συζητάει με το Δημοσθένη Αγραφιώτη για το ζήτημα της ‘παραναγνώρισης’ στις περιπτώσεις του Αντρέα Εμπειρίκου και του Θάνου Μούρραη-Βελλούδιου.
05.02 | 18.45 Νάντια Αργυροπούλου, "Πολλά 'ισκιώματα',το τρομερό 'Αμάν', ο Βελλούδιος, ο Εμπειρίκος και η ζωή ως ριζοσπαστική επινόηση". Επίσκεψη σημειώσεων με εικόνες .

06.02 | 18.45 Μαρία Γεωργιλάκη ,«Η Μέδουσα του Βελλούδιου και άλλες μέδουσες»,Διάλεξη και 
προβολές εικόνων.

Συμμετέχουν - συμβάλλουν: Ελισάβετ Αρσενίου, Γεωργία Σαγρή, Κατερίνα Κουτσίνα, Αντώνης Βολανάκης, Νεκτάριος Παπαδημητρίου, Πάνος Χαραλάμπους, Παναγιώτης Μποσνάκης, Διαμαντής Καράβολας, Λεωνίδας Εμπειρίκος, Νάντια Αργυροπούλου, Φαίδων Χατζηαντωνίου, Ελένη Πολυβίου, Αντώνης Νταγαδάκης, Αλέξης Σαββάκης, Βασίλης Νούλας, Κώστας Τζημούλης, Αναστάσης Καμπέρογλου, Κώστας Κλεφτόγιαννης, Γεώργιος Βελούδιος, Ναταλία Μελά, Λάκης Παπαστάθης (Cinetic-«Paraskinio»), Μανώλης Μανουσάκης, Joulia Strauss, Michele Valley, Μαριέττα Καλλονά, Τάσος Βρεττός, Παντελής Βούλγαρης, Γιώργος Πανουσόπουλος, Μαρία Γεωργιλάκη, Ευθύμης Δημητρίου, Διονύσιος Φωτόπουλος, Τώνης Λυκουρέσης, Νίκος Γκίκας, Απόστολος Αργυριάδης, Μαρία Αργυριάδη, Αλεξάνδρα Τσουκαλά, Μάρκος Χολέβας κ.α.


Επιμέλεια: Δημοσθένης Αγραφιώτης.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Untitled

Hermann Finsterlin, ‘Untitled’ (1922), Courtesy of David Nolan New York

Friday, January 30, 2015

Nerval's Lobster



“Why should a lobster be any more ridiculous than a dog? Or a cat, or a gazelle, or a lion, or any other animal that one chooses to take for a walk? I have a liking for lobsters. They are peaceful, serious creatures. They know the secrets of the sea, they don't bark, and they don't gobble up your monadic privacy like dogs do. And Goethe had an aversion to dogs, and he wasn't mad!"
— Gérard de Nerval, when asked why he kept a lobster as a pet and walked it on a leash.

Text by Mark Derry

El Desdichado

Je suis le ténébreux, - le veuf, - l'inconsolé,
Le prince d'Aquitaine à la tour abolie
Ma seule étoile est morte, - et mon luth constellé
Porte le soleil noir de la Mélancolie.

Dans la nuit du tombeau, toi qui m'as consolé,
Rends-moi le Pausilippe et la mer d'Italie,
La fleur qui plaisait tant à mon coeur désolé,
Et la treille où le pampre à la rose s'allie.

Suis-je Amour ou Phébus ? ... Lusignan ou Biron ?
Mon front est rouge encor du baiser de la reine ;
J'ai rêvé dans la grotte où nage la sirène...

Et j'ai deux fois vainqueur traversé l'Achéron ;
Modulant tout à tour sur la lyre d'Orphée
Les soupirs de la sainte et les cris de la fée.


Gérard de Nerval, Les Chimères (1854)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Family Politics: Domestic Life, Devastation and Survival 1900-1950 – review





Paul Ginsborg’s masterly and original account puts family life at the centre of revolution and dictatorship

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/dec/25/family-politics-domestic-life-devastation-and-survival-paul-ginsborg-review

Text by Lucy Hughes-Hallett 

Dandilands



Kostis Velonis
Brancusi was a Hippie Carpenter or the Physical Condition of Mockery Through Space.
2008
24 January - 28 February 

Situated as an image in the forest, the sculpture of Kostis Velonis acquires a different meaning than originally conceived in 2008, without disregarding its reference to modern sculpture and its relationship to folklore traditions. The playful allusion to Brancusi relates to the forest’s landscape and its archaic associations to carving and sculpted wood, the totemic column, and the pagan conduct of the sculpture.


Dandilands is found in a location in the high forest of Troodos mountains whereby we welcome a circular trail walk of 7km through a rocky path overlooking wild trees with a view beyond the forest and over the island. A random audience walking along an existing path anticipates an almost unassuming ritual of treading. What is expected to happen seems to be prescribed by the particularity and the surrounding codes and functions of the space itself: follow the route - read the engraved signs - rest on a bench - stop for a drink of water. And perhaps doing all those things is also part of an experience in the woodlands; however, we would like to evoke moods that may lead to other experiences and potentialities.

Our understanding of urban and natural landscapes as sites of both intimate and destabilizing experiences through a token of perception materializes in what we propose to be a standing sign. This sign is both site and object; a place of intention and image; a setting of the social. Unlike signs steering elsewhere, this one betokens one’s intimacy to the body as experienced in pulsating landscapes with the sensual and sensible sharing in the present and public momentum embraced in breathing pine trees and boundless dandelions.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Παγωμένος χρόνος



Ο κύριος Γκρι επιμένει πως θα πρέπει και οι δύο να ζητήσουμε συγγνώμη από τους αναγνώστες για τη σοκαριστική φωτογραφία που συνοδεύει το σημερινό σημείωμα: είναι τραβηγμένη το 1942 κάπου στην Ουκρανία. Αν διαβάζω σωστά την ονομασία της περιοχής, είναι Ιβανγκορόντ (Ivangorod) και αποτυπώνει την εκτέλεση αμάχων Εβραίων από τα γερμανικά Einsatzgruppen, μετά την εισβολή της Γερμανίας στη Σοβιετική Ενωση. Μαζί με τα μαχόμενα τμήματα του γερμανικού στρατού, ενίοτε σε συνεργασία με αυτά, τα Einsatzgruppen, αυτές οι μονάδες θανάτου, επιδίδονταν σε συστηματική εκκαθάριση των εβραϊκών πληθυσμών των περιοχών που καταλάμβαναν.

Ο κύριος Γκρι επιμένει στη συγγνώμη, καθότι ημέρα εθνικών εκλογών να προβάλλεις κάτι τόσο αποτρόπαιο δεν είναι ό,τι καλύτερο. Ομως, του λέω, την Τρίτη είναι η Παγκόσμια Ημέρα Ολοκαυτώματος και ειδικά σε καιρό εκλογών δεν είναι κακό να σοκάρεται κάποιος – συνειδητοποιώντας, ίσως, την ανεκτίμητη αξία της δημοκρατίας, του κοινοβουλευτισμού, της ειρήνης και, ακόμα, ότι όποιος Ελληνας πολίτης ψηφίσει τη Χ.Α., ψηφίζει αυτήν τη φωτογραφία.

Την κοιτούμε και οι δύο. Η γυναικεία φιγούρα, μία μητέρα που απεγνωσμένα προσπαθεί να προστατέψει με το ίδιο της το σώμα το μικρό παιδί που σφίγγει στην αγκαλιά της. Και ο ένστολος σχεδόν εξ επαφής να τη σημαδεύει, αυτή και το παιδί της.

Είναι γνωστή η άποψη που θέλει τη φωτογραφία να παγώνει τον χρόνο: οι δύο ενήλικες φιγούρες στέκουν όρθιες για πάντα και το παιδί αιώνια κρυμμένο στη μητρική φωλιά. Ομως ο απόλυτος ορισμός της κόλασης είναι η αιωνιότητα του παγωμένου χρόνου –τόσο για τα θύματα, εν προκειμένω, όσο και για τον θύτη, ενώ εμείς, σήμερα, ξέρουμε τι θα γίνει μετά– τι ήδη έχει συμβεί. Εχουμε ακούσει τον πυροβολισμό.

Κοιτώντας τη μορφή της μητέρας, αναρωτιέσαι: τι να περνάει απ’ το μυαλό της σε μια τέτοια τρομακτική στιγμή, δευτερόλεπτα προτού βυθιστεί στην ανυπαρξία; Ποια μπορεί να είναι η σκέψη της μπροστά σε αυτό το αδιανόητο που της συμβαίνει όχι επειδή έκανε κάτι, αλλά επειδή υπάρχει, επειδή υπήρξε; Και ο εκτελεστής; Επέζησε άραγε του πολέμου αυτός ο απόλυτα άνανδρος άνδρας; Αν ναι, πώς συνέχισε να ζει έπειτα από κάτι τέτοιο; Εγινε άραγε πατέρας; Ή παππούς; Οταν αγκάλιασε το παιδί ή το εγγόνι του, να θυμήθηκε τη μητέρα και το παιδί που σημάδευε στην καμένη νιότη του;

Ο κύριος Γκρι πιστεύει πως δεν της πρέπει κάποια μουσική της φωτογραφίας αυτής παρά μόνον η σιωπή. Τον πιέζω όμως κι επιλέγει για την περίσταση μια μουσική τόσο ταιριαστή στην αποκρουστική αυτή εικόνα, τόσο συνδεδεμένη με την έννοια Ολοκαύτωμα, που αγγίζει το όριο του κλισέ: το δεύτερο μέρος από το Γερμανικό Ρέκβιεμ του Μπραμς, το εμβατηριακό «Denn alles Fleisch, es ist wie Gras», στην κλασική εκτέλεση της Ορχήστρας Φιλαρμόνια υπό τον Οτο Κλέμπερερ. «Μερικές φορές, λέω, αυτά τα πράγματα, τέτοιες φωτογραφίες, δεν είναι για να μνημονεύονται», σχολιάζει ο κύριος Γκρι. «Μπορεί όμως και να έχεις δίκιο. Αυτά τα πράγματα, τέτοιες φωτογραφίες, έχει σημασία όχι να μη μνημονεύονται, αλλά να μην επαναλαμβάνονται».

Ηλίας Μαγκλίνης

http://www.kathimerini.gr/800398/article/politismos/vivlio/pagwmenos-xronos

Friday, January 23, 2015

Black and White


Malevich, 1915
Black and white
Suprematist composition
Oil on canvas
80 x 80 cm

Testimony of a spore, or, Strathern beyond the human fence

the academic:
"This essay offers a playful yet field-changing meditation on the thinking of Marilyn Strathern. It moves beyond Strathern’s imagined lifeworlds even as it engages in a Strathernian mode of analysis: reification for the work of comparison. Strathern has argued that reification to create comparisons is useful if it serves critical reflection. Strathernian reification must be both “serious” and “playful.” It must interrupt the mind- lulling presence of common sense. It must show off difference where we might otherwise see only connection. Comparison at its best, Strathern suggests, is an interruption, a refusal of connection to show the gaps through which we can rethink our categories. It creates “the hesitation that makes one pause (the thought that is already an act), in order to allow a second thought.”
I have the whole article as a pdf (and can pass along via email, let me know!) but am only pasting key excerpts here. The essay moves back and forth between the first person testimony of a Matsutake mushroom spore and an academic examining modes of analysis for the more than human. When I read the types of catalog entries this came to mind as news ticker, the kind of voice to used in a news ticker about - broadly - the anthropocene… not only human but our entanglements with other species and how we can listen to them, their journeys. A playful but provocative tool for imagining the nonhuman voice.
the spore:
"I haven’t always had the pleasures of a flying spore, able to experience the world on the back of the wind. Before that I hung precariously in the gills of a mushroom, waiting for a breeze to lift me. What a sense of anticipation! What longing I felt to fly. But before that, I was the mushroom, or, at least, a part of it, feeling the tension and joy of our great expansion as we coiled together, filled out, and at last emerged from underground shelter to the bright world all sharp and vast. Spreading our parasol under the blinding daze, disconcerted by new smells—and the fresh wind—yes, I can remember; there were so many forms of excitement then. But before that, we were underground in the wonderfully mysterious dark, exploring finger-like to find new tastes among the soils and rocks, stretching in thin threads and looping in fat noodles, ever joining our friends, the roots of trees, in self-extending embrace, giving and receiving life’s sweet juices. That was bliss, the more than one and less than many.
People admire ducks for their abilities to swim, walk, and fly: three separate modes of experiencing the world. But I have already done as well. I have excelled in adventures underground; I have stood quietly on the surface, taking it in; and now I am lofted into the air.Do you know what a faint puff of air it takes to carry me? I am so light; I might go anywhere. I might be carried farther than any duck or goose, despite their famed migrations. Did you know the stratosphere is full of fungal spores, circling around the planet? I might go anywhere! They say my kind has only 26 days before I must either germinate or shrivel. There is a lot they don’t know, and I may outlive their expectations. And 26 days! That can be a gloriously long time to see the world. Who would despise such a weightless journey, the chance to contemplate and study and add to one’s experience. I will go everywhere and see everything. I might even tell you some.
Don’t be shocked that I feel joy. After all, I exist only as an awkward relation; an American human made me up. She reads Ursula Le Guin and science blogs such as “Not exactly rocket science” as well as Marilyn Strathern, and she wants to explain more- than-human sociality in a way that doesn’t just twist your mind around but offers you vivid images and stories. So she has made me a tinny but usable voice and reminded me that we all come into being as figures through unfaithful translation. It’s what all storytellers do, she says. Besides, there is no need to get hung up on problems of agency right away; there is more to sociality, human and otherwise, than that question, and besides we’ll get to that later. For the moment just consider that the “I” that tunnels, erupts, and flies is neither singular nor plural, so don’t assume you have my number.
Anna Tsing 

Melt with us


duskin drum, "Exotic fluids for everyday desires," 2013

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Υπονεωτερικότητα και εργασία του πένθους


Στο βιβλίο αυτό εξετάζονται οι επιπτώσεις ενός πολύτροπου και πολυμερούς φαινομένου, που ορίζεται ως υπο-νεωτερικότητα, στην καλλιτεχνική και πολιτιστική παραγωγή της Ελλάδας. Ένα πρώτο αναγνωρίσιμο χαρακτηριστικό του είναι η επαναφορά του ερωτήματος «τι είναι για μας η νεωτερικότητα;», που στη σύγχρονη ιστορική συγκυρία τίθεται σε τροχιά παρόξυνσης. Ως παραδειγματικό σημείο αφετηρίας τοποθετείται η Γενιά του ’30, όπου το ήδη ενεργό τριμερές σχήμα μελαγχολία-πένθος-χαροποιό πένθος αρχίζει να γίνεται διακριτό· στο μεσοδιάστημα τοποθετείται η υπερ-νεωτερική Γενιά του ’60 και στην κατάληξη το έργο νεότερων ή και νεότατων καλλιτεχνών, που επαναδιαπραγματεύονται τη συνθήκη του νεωτερικού ελλείμματος και τη σημασία της αδύναμης στιγμής. Στο γενεαλογικό αυτό σχήμα –το οποίο σημαδεύεται από περάσματα με υπολείμματα, ρήξεις και γεφυρώσεις– συμβολική σημασία αποκτούν τα χέρια του ελληνιστικού γλυπτού της Αφροδίτης, το οποίο παύει να είναι μια αρχαιολογική ή λογοτεχνική υπόθεση, διεκδικώντας έναν παραδειγματικό ρόλο στις σχέσεις που ανέπτυξε η ελληνική με την ευρωπαϊκή κουλτούρα. Με λίγα λόγια, πρόκειται για ένα βιβλίο γενεαλογίας και χαρτογράφησης, που, όπως εξήγησε ο Michel Foucault, δεν είναι μόνο εργαλεία πλοήγησης, αλλά και ανταλλαγής: διαλόγου και αντιλόγου.

Γιωργος Τζιρτζιλάκης,Υπονεωτερικότητα και εργασία του πένθους
(Αθήνα : Καστανιώτης, 2015)

Group '15



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Precarious Pavilion

Precarious Pavilion, 2013-15
Wood, plaster, acrylic, oil, pencil, dried leaves,
60 x 70 x 42 cm

The last time


It seems you’ve gone. Your last word
still faintly clinking in my chamber:
the brittlelest shimmer lingered
some lovely hours. Gone, just the same.

Long have I known the sharp increment
of your faltering redoubt.
Long now, unbidden, have I sensed

you seeking my window out,

and often hear unspoken
some muted sinking phrase;
and often the familiar knocking

at the door. Gone, same as always.

Mascha Kaléko

Berlin (Charlottenburg district)
 44 Mommsen St.
1938
Translation, from German, of Mascha Kaléko’s “Das letztes Mal”.


Monday, January 12, 2015

Adventures of the Black Square: Abstract Art and Society 1915 – 2015


A major new exhibition tracing a century of Abstract art from 1915 to today is on show at the Whitechapel Gallery from 15 January 2015. The exhibition takes a fresh look at this new art for a modern age, and asks how art relates to society and politics.
Curated by Iwona Blazwick OBE, Director, and Magnus af Petersens, Curator at Large, Whitechapel Gallery, Adventures of the Black Square: Abstract Art and Society 1915 – 2015,(15 January – 6 April 2015), is international in its scope. As well as following the rise of Constructivist art from its revolutionary beginnings amongst the avant-garde in Russia and Europe, the exhibition sheds new light on the evolution of geometric abstraction from continents across the globe including Asia, the US and Latin America.
The exhibition begins with one of Kazimir Malevich’s radical ‘black square’ paintings. Alongside Malevich’s Black and White. Suprematist Composition (1915), included in the famous exhibition The Last Futurist Exhibition of Paintings: 0.10 (1915) in Petrograd, now St Petersburg, prior to the Russian Revolution of 1917, these iconic works are the starting point for telling the story of Abstract art and its political potential over the next century.
Arranged chronologically, the exhibition is divided into four key themes:
Communication’ examines the possibilities of abstraction for mobilizing radical change.
Architectonics’ looks at how abstraction can underpin socially transformative spaces.
Utopia’imagines a new, ideal society, which transcends hierarchy and class.
The Everyday’ follows the way abstract art filters into all aspects of visual culture, from corporate logos to textile design.
The exhibition includes paintings, sculptures, film and photographs spanning the century from 1915 to the present, brought together from major international collections including Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; The Costakis Collection, Thessaloniki; National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh; Tate, London; and Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven.
Further exhibition highlights include an entire wall filled with photographs documenting the radio towers of Moscow and Berlin by Aleksandr Rodchenko and László Moholy-Nagy amongst others, blow-up archive photographs of iconic exhibitions running through the history of abstraction and a selection of magazines which convey revolutionary ideas in art and society through typography and graphic design.
Events Programme
A programme of talks and performances expand on the themes of the exhibition, from an introduction to geometric abstract art by Whitechapel Gallery director and exhibition co-curator Iwona Blazwick (27 Feb, 3pm) to a major two-day symposium on abstraction and society bringing together experts in the field including Doug Ashford, Tanya Barson and Briony Fer (Fri 13 & Sat 14 Mar, 11.30am–6pm). Other highlights include a London re-staging of Daniel Buren’s iconic New York performance piece Seven Ballets in Manhattan (1975) (From Fri 30 Jan, 3pm and throughout Feb and Mar) and a work by Russian artist Anna Parkina (Sat 12 Mar, 7pm)merging live music, light and movement in an immersive abstract performance.

- The first examples of Abstract art emerged at the beginning of the 20th century. Both a historical idea to come out of the Modernist movement and an evolving artistic practice, abstraction was an international phenomenon that gathered speed rapidly from late 1911 when a series of artists including Wassily Kandinsky, Robert Delaunay and František Kupka broke away from tradition and presented works of art with no discernible subject matter, instead using colour, shape and texture to create new images. Other early pioneers of Abstract art include Piet Mondrian, Paul Klee and Hans Arp. The movement evolved over the 20th century and into the 21st century, affected by social movements, historical events and a rapidly changing modern culture of connectivity.
- Key moments in the history of Abstract art include the seminal exhibition The Last Futurist Exhibition of Paintings: 0.10 in St. Petersburg in 1915, which saw Kazimir Malevich present a series of paintings that depicted blocks of colour floating against a white background, the first example of geometrical abstraction. In the aftermath of the Revolution of 1917, artists Lyubov Popova and Aleksander Rodchenko emerged as central exponents of Russian Constructivism, inspired by the pre-Revolutionary work of Malevich and Tatlin. While in Europe in the 1920s and 30s, Piet Mondrian and Theo Van Doesburg founded De Stijl, an artistic movement which in turn influenced the Bauhaus style. While abstraction has generated other more expressionist movements, for example post war Abstract expressionism in the 1940s and 50s, these strands are not examined in this exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery. In Brazil in the late 1950s and 60s Neo-Concretist artists such as Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica developed a new social and participatory way of working. Today, contemporary artists still experiment and challenge ideas of representation and reality, influenced by society and the evolving world around them. Examples of this can be seen in work by artists such as Sarah Morris and Armando Andrade Tudela who demonstrate the influence of Abstract art on contemporary design and brands.
Dóra Maurer Seven Rotations 1 – 6, 1979, collection of Zsolt Somlói and Katalin Spengler © Dóra Maurer

- Adventures of the Black Square: Abstract Art and Society 1915 – 2015, 15 January – 6 April 2015 is curated by Iwona Blazwick OBE, Director, and Magnus af Petersens, Curator at Large, with Sophie McKinlay, Acting Head of Exhibitions and Candy Stobbs, Assistant Curator, Whitechapel Gallery. The Curatorial Advisory Committee for the exhibition includes: Tanya Barson, Curator, Tate; Briony Fer, Professor of Art History, University College London; Tom McDonough, Professor in Art History, Binghampton University, New York; and Jiang Jiehong, Professor of Chinese Art, Birmingham City University.
- Adventures of the Black Square: Abstract Art and Society 1915 – 2015 is accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue with essays by the Curatorial Advisory Committee alongside Iwona Blazwick and Magnus af Petersens.

List of artists
Alexander Abaza, Anni Albers, Josef Albers, Francis Alÿs, Armando Andrade Tudela, Carl Andre, Nazgol Ansarinia, Rasheed Araeen, Doug Ashford, Chant Avedissian, Dmitri Baltermants, Lewis Baltz, Geraldo de Barros, David Batchelor, Max Bill, Kamal Boullata, KP Brehmer, Daniel Buren, Andrea Büttner, André Cadere, Ilya Chashnik, Iakov Chernikov, Saloua Raouda Choucair, Lygia Clark, Horacio Coppola, Waldemar Cordeiro, Keith Coventry, Angela de la Cruz, Thea Djordjadze, Theo van Doesburg, Adrian Esparza, Emmanuil Evzerekhin, Thomaz Farkas, Dan Flavin, Andrea Fraser, Gaspar Gasparian, Isa Genzken, Liam Gillick, Zvi Goldstein, Peter Halley, Eva Hesse, Jenny Holzer, Clay Ketter, Gunilla Klingberg, Ivan Kliun, Gustav Klutsis, Katarzyna Kobro, Běla Kolářová, Judith Lauand, Fernand Léger, Klara Lidén, El Lissitzky, Liu Wei, Josiah McElheny, Tomás Maldonado, Kazimir Malevich, Werner Mantz, Dóra Maurer, Cildo Meireles, Nasreen Mohamedi, László Moholy-Nagy, Andrei Monastyrski and Collective Actions, Piet Mondrian, Sarah Morris, Hélio Oiticica, Gabriel Orozco, Blinky Palermo, Karthik Pandian, Lygia Pape, Anna Parkina, Adam Pendleton, Amalia Pica, Lyubov Popova, Dmitri Prigov, R. H. Quaytman, Tobias Rehberger, Lis Rhodes, Àngels Ribé, Aleksandr Rodchenko, Karl Peter Röhl, Willem de Rooij, Francesco Lo Savio, Oskar Schlemmer, Ivan Serpa, Arkady Shaikhet, Hassan Sharif, Melanie Smith, Antonina Sofronova, Hannah Starkey, Jeffrey Steele, Władysław Strzemiński, Nikolai Suetin, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Vladimir Tatlin, Rosemarie Trockel, Sergei Vasin, Kostis Velonis, Zhao Yao, Andrea Zittel, Heimo Zobernig, Facundo de Zuviría.

Adventures of the Black Square: Abstract Art and Society 1915 – 2015
15 January – 6 April 2015


Lissitzky was a Craftsman Hero


"Lissitzky was a Craftsman Hero", 2007-08
wood, plywood, acrylic, spray
248 cm x 32 cm x 50 cm

Sculptors’ Papers from the Henry Moore Institute Archive


The stories behind some of London’s most radical public sculptures are traced in a display drawing on the Henry Moore Institute’s rich collection of sculptors’ papers in Leeds, England. The exhibition sheds new light on sculpture in the capital, charting the creative process, political debates and critical responses surrounding realised and unrealised works from the early twentieth century onwards.

Highlights include Laurence Bradshaw’s (1899-1978) iconic Karl Marx Memorial (1956) which stands in Highgate Cemetery in north London. A pilgrimage site for international socialist leaders and politicians over the past 50 years, the monument has also been a target for attacks and demonstrations, including damage from homemade bomb explosions in the 1970s


Also featured are plans for Alfred Frank Hardiman’s (1891-1949) imposing equestrian sculpture of World War I Field Marshall Douglas Haig, commissioned by Parliament in 1928. One of the last of its kind, the sculpture which stands in Whitehall, London, was widely criticised when unveiled, with the horse-mounted commander seen as outdated in a new age of mechanical warfare.

Rare photographs from the Henry Moore Institute archives of Jacob Epstein (1880-1959) featuring his famous British Medical Association sculptures (1908-1937) are included in the display. The series of 8ft high nude statues symbolising the ages of man were Epstein’s first major commission, installed on the façade of the British Medical Association in The Strand, London. Considered by some as highly offensive when unveiled, the controversial sculptures were destroyed in the 1930s. In an investigation into changing attitudes to public sculpture, artist Neal White’s (b. 1966) The Third Campaign (2004-5) reinvigorates Epstein’s unsuccessful battles to protect the works, through demonstrations, letters and photographs.
The conception and planning of other unconventional sculptural projects are revealed, including Power for the People (1972) by Rose Finn-Kelcey (1945- 2014), which proposed large flags bearing the phrase being mounted on prominent buildings along the Thames.
Unrealised proposals such as the Temple of Universal Ethics, an ambitious architectural development designed by Croatian sculptor Oscar Nemon (1906- 1985) to promote international relations and British-Romanian artist Paul Neagu’s (1938-2004) unrealised Starhead (1986) monument will also be explored in the display.

Sculptors’ Papers from the Henry Moore Institute Archive is part of the Whitechapel Gallery’s ongoing programme of displays presenting guest archives and drawing from the Whitechapel Gallery's own history. A series of events including screenings, talks and tours will accompany the exhibition.
The display has been co-curated by Nayia Yiakoumaki, Curator Archive Gallery at the Whitechapel Gallery; Lisa Le Feuvre, Head of Sculpture Studies at the Henry Moore Institute and Jon Wood, Research Curator at the Henry Moore Institute with Bryony Harris, Assistant Curator; Special Projects at the Whitechapel Gallery.
Sculptors’ Papers from the Henry Moore Institute Archive
22 September 2014 – 22 February 2015

The Cadences of Consequences



Like declensions of angels into the gulf of heaven,
like lightning bolts or like the rapidly repeated
falling blows of Chance, cadences fell upon
cadences and so (by chance), with clear and full
pronunciation, with unstoppable force, like a fiery,
passionate ejaculation, there gushed from the
lips of the Greeks the words: consequence and 
consequences.

Andreas Embiricos, July 1960.


Translated by Maria Margaronis.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Fragments

Herman de Vries, Fragments,Peter Foolen Editions, 2011

image folded announcement card
right fragment, collected in Nördlicher Steigerwald
left leaf, collected, Öllarn, 22.8.2011